Let’s dance

Our writer braves the cold to check out three eclectic dance spots

The dancefloor at 3rd Street heats up and starts to smoke.

The dancefloor at 3rd Street heats up and starts to smoke.


On the night of an apocalyptically intense snow storm, deadline, opportunity and available friends aligned in such a way to force me from my home, into my bald-tired sports car and from one dance club to the next. While “da club” may be many things, it is seldom cold.

Xtreme Sports Bar and Lounge

Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. Second St.

Hidden deep inside the Grand Sierra Resort, you’ll find the most extreme club’s extremely extreme entranceway. The first thing you’ll notice are the G-rated exotic dancers gyrating on what appear to be semi-truck exhaust pipes. The almost-strippers wear short shorts and shirts that show a lot of midriff. They just dance, though. If you try the whole “waving of dollar bills” thing, you’re in uncharted waters, but maybe the dancer will fling herself about so vigorously she’ll fall into the crowd. That would be exciting.

The house band is good, and they stick mostly to cover songs. If you like rock and your idea of dancing involves the threat of concussions, you could certainly do worse. Sadly though, on the dark and stormy night which I chose to venture forth into the streets of Reno, there were few club-goers.

My friend and I left Xtreme and headed into the snow drifting its way through downtown Reno. The fact that we had to cross the train trench provoked a highly intellectual discussion about how much in damages the city would pay if the roof failed, and we plunged to our deaths.

3rd Street

125 W. Third St.

This club smells like smoke. But good smoke. Sweet-smelling old smoke left over from Stevie Ray Vaughn’s cigarettes, or the kind of smoke B.B. King’s cigars gently lay over wood varnish. Not smoke in the “ventilation, what’s that?” sense. And it’s so unpretentious.

The girls dancing at 3rd Street wear blue jeans and tank tops, or maybe a black collared shirt just one notch too informal for the office. They dance with guys who can probably read without moving their lips. It’s amazing how different a club feels when you get away from the club rats on their 18th drink, still trying to look cool, dancing to 50 Cent in metallic clothes.

The live music is amazing. When I walked, in the Schall Adams Band was covering Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” to excellent effect. So good I seriously considered finishing this story later and spending the rest of the night at 3rd Street. The club brings in live acts regularly, to the delight of its regulars-heavy clientele. They even have a comedy night every Wednesday.

As much as I wanted to stay, duty called and I set out once more into the cold.

210 North

210 N. Sierra St.

This club is right down the street from 3rd Street but couldn’t be much farther away in terms of ambiance. On the night I visited, there was a $15 cover charge, bouncers with steroid quality biceps and no shortage of shiny stuff.

The entrance is an orgy of stainless steel—escalators and curtains fashioned from chain link. Inside, lots of glowing circles combined with slick, shiny seating arrangements and spastic lighting to give 210 North that not-quite-a-rave feel. And they have more G-rated strippers!

The folks enjoying this club seem to have a much more intense approach to Saturday nights. Shiny dresses and polished leather predominated. One guy had this afro poof pigtail thing going, and didn’t look half as dorky as that sounds.

Out on the dance floor, getting down to the hip-hop and club music, I watched as women in reflective fabrics jiggled their booties so vigorously I feared nerve damage and dudes who did the robot.